Hereford Cathedral School
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Hereford Cathedral School

Template:More citatdate=February 2017

Hereford Cathedral School
Hereford Cathedral School Shield.png
Old Deanery
Cathedral Close


Coordinates52°03?15?N 2°42?50?W / 52.0542°N 2.7139°W / 52.0542; -2.7139Coordinates: 52°03?15?N 2°42?50?W / 52.0542°N 2.7139°W / 52.0542; -2.7139
TypePublic school
Independent day and boarding school
MottoFloreat Schola Herefordensis
(May the school of Hereford flourish)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
PresidentThe Very Rev'd Michael Tavinor
Chair of GovernorsRear Admiral Philip Wilcocks
HeadmasterMr Paul Smith
Age3 to 18
Houses     Cornwall,
PublicationThe Herefordian
Blue & Gold
Former pupilsOld Herefordians

Hereford Cathedral School is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school for pupils of ages 3 to 18 years, from Nursery to Sixth Form. Its headmaster is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The school's premises are next to Hereford Cathedral in Hereford.[1]


There was probably a school associated with the Cathedral from the time of the foundation of the see in the late 7th century.[1] Thus Hereford Cathedral School is likely to be among the oldest in England. The earliest documentary record of its existence dates from 1384 when Bishop John Gilbert appointed Richard de Cornwaille as school master and authorised him to rule over the school with birch and rod. The school's library is named after Bishop Gilbert[2] and Cornwall house is named for Richard de Cornwaille.

During the following centuries the school attracted generous benefactors. It was rebuilt under the reign of King Edward VI, and it received considerable emoluments from Queen Elizabeth I in 1583. During the 17th century Dean Langford, Roger Philpotts, a former Mayor of Hereford, Sarah, dowager Duchess of Somerset (wife of John Seymour, 4th Duke of Somerset), and King Charles I all gave to the school for the foundation of scholarships and the purchase of buildings.

An aerial view of the Portman Centre, No. 1, and the Science Block

By 1762 the school building was once again rebuilt after it had fallen into disrepair and by the mid 19th century teaching was being carried out in the Headmaster's house. In 1875 new class rooms were built in School Yard.[3]

The school remained relatively small in size until the inter-war period. It attained direct grant status in 1945 and by 1970 had expanded to 370 pupils, all of whom were boys and many of whom were boarders.[1] In 1973, the school became co-educational. It was a direct grant school until 1975, and when this scheme was abolished, it chose to become independent.[4] The school also participated in the Assisted Places Scheme from its introduction in 1980 until its abolition in 1997.[1]

As of September 2006, Paul Smith is headmaster, succeeding the long-serving Dr Howard Tomlinson.[1]

In 2018 Hereford Cathedral School reintroduced boarding for international students, opening a new boarding house in How Caple.


As well as core disciplines, other subjects taught in the school include Ancient History/Classical Civilisation, Art, Business Studies, Design and Technology, Drama, Economics, French, Japanese, Spanish, Greek, Latin, Further Mathematics, Psychology, Music and Textiles.[5]


Among sports practised in the school are: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Canoeing, Cricket, Cross Country, Fencing, Fitness Training, Football, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rowing, Rugby, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, and Volleyball[5]


Former pupils and members of staff are referred to as Old Herefordians, using the post nominal designation OH.

Every year pupils at the school run a cross-country race called the Hull Cup. The origins of this competition are said to be found with Hereford Cathedral organist Percy Hull who believed that the choristers at the time were in poor shape and so demanded that they take part in an annual run.

Although there is no official school song, the de facto school anthem is the hymn Jerusalem (English Hymnal 656A). It has become a school legend that the singing of this hymn during an assembly in the Cathedral on Friday 27 May 1983 was heard outside Marks and Spencers in High Town. The hymn is a popular choice in weddings, memorial services and funerals of Old Herefordians.

House System

Upon entry into the school every pupil is assigned a house. The houses are as follows:

House Colour Named for Type
Cornwall      Richard de Cornwaille Day
Langford      Dean Langford Day
Somerset      Sarah, dowager Duchess of Somerset Day
Stuart      King Charles I Day
Defunct Houses
Number 1 1 Castle Street Boarding
School House School House Boarding
Old Deanery The Old Deanery Boarding
St. John Boarding
West House Boarding
East House Boarding
Senior House Boarding
Junior House Boarding
The Old Deanery, once a boarding house and now the administrative centre of the school

The four extant houses are: Langford (after Charles Langford, Dean of Hereford and benefactor 1607), Stuart (named after King Charles I, benefactor 1637), Somerset (named after Sarah Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, benefactor 1682) and Cornwall (named after Richard de Cornwaille, first known headmaster of HCS, 1384).

Before the abolition of boarding at the school, there were also separately named houses for boarders, namely: School House, Number 1 (Castle Street) and Old Deanery. In those days, Cornwall, Langford, Somerset and Stuart consisted entirely of day pupils.


In the senior school (years 7-11) pupils are expected to wear a blazer with school crest, navy pinstripe trousers or skirt, plain white shirt, and an authorised school tie for boys. In the sixth form pupils are allowed to wear a grey, navy or black suit with authorised school tie. School ties include: house ties, sports colours, the Dean's Scholar tie, the sixth form tie, and various other ties awarded for specific contributions to the school.


  • 1385 Richardus de Cornwaille
  • 1583 -- May
  • 1590 Thomas Cooxey
  • 1595 -- Povey
  • 1637 Clement Barksdale
  • 1669 Richard Gardiner, DD
  • 1686 Robert Phillips
  • 1687 Thomas Gwillim
  • 1689 Richard Treherne
  • 1711 John Rodd
  • 1731 Thomas Willim
  • 1748 John Stephens
  • 1749 Richard Traherne
  • 1762/3 Reverend Gibbons Bagnall/Thomas Horne
  • 1778 Abraham Rudd
  • 1784 Robert D. Squire, MA
  • 1803 Reverend Samuel Picart, BD
  • 1807 Charles Taylor, DD
  • 1826 Charles Taylor, Junior, BD
  • 1839 William Henry Ley, MA
  • 1842 John Wooley, DD
  • 1844 Thomas F. Layng, DD
  • 1851 Reverend Thomas Barratt Power, MA
  • 1857 John Woollam, MA
  • 1869 Reverend Eric John Sutherland Rudd, MA
  • 1875 Francis Hey Thatham, MA
  • 1890 Thomas Thistle, MA
  • 1898 Reverend Prebendary William Henry Murray Ragg, MA
  • 1913 Reverend John Henson, MA
  • 1920 Dr J. H. Crees
  • 1940 C. Fairfax-Scott
  • 1944 A. F. J. Hopewell
  • 1956 W. J. R. Peebles
  • 1967 David M. Richards
  • 1975 Barry B. Sutton
  • 1988 Canon Emeritus Dr Howard C. Tomlinson, BA, PhD, FRHistS
  • 2006 Paul Smith, BSc


In February 2017, the school was sued by a former pupil who alleged that when he was transitioning from female to male, the school discriminated against him.[6] In response, the school's governing body said that the pupil had been withdrawn before any decision on his support had been made.[6]

Extracurricular activities

Combined Cadet Force

The school operates a Combined Cadet Force composed of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force sections. It is the second oldest school CCF in the country. Recently the organization has had notable success in the CCF (Army) March and Shoot. The unit is currently commanded by Sqn Ldr A D Howell.

The last Biennial Inspection was on 8 May 2014. The inspecting officer was Col Seal, who is the Deputy Commander of 143 Brigade.

Chamber Choir

The Hereford Cathedral School Chamber Choir tours internationally and has won a number of awards.

Old Herefordians

Upon leaving the school former pupils and staff are referred to as Old Herefordians (OH) and become members of the Old Herefordians Club. This entitles them to wear the colours of the Old Herefordians Club (navy blue, yellow and white).

Notable Old Herefordians include:


  1. ^ a b c d e Independent Schools Inspectorate Archived 2 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 19 July 2010
  2. ^ HCS History Archived 1 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 19 July 2010
  3. ^ "History | Hereford Cathedral School". Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 22 March 1978. col. 582W-586W.
  5. ^ a b Independent Schools Council Archived 10 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 19 July 2010
  6. ^ a b "Transgender teenager sues Hereford school for discrimination". BBC News. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Arthur Peppercorn". A1 Steam Locomotive Trust. Retrieved 2010.


  • School ISC Reference Number: 80122
  • School ISI Reference Number: 6533
  • School DfE Reference Number: 884/6004

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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